Garou began playing the guitar at the age of three at the encouragement of his father (he also plays piano and trumpet). He went on to serve in the military and started a band in 1992 called the Untouchables. In 1997, he was discovered by Luc Plamondon while singing American blues tunes in a Sherbrooke bar. He was drafted by Plamondon to play the role of Quasimodo in his musical Notre-Dame de Paris, which made him a star in France. After the musical, he launched a successful international pop music career in Quebec, France, and many other European countries.His first album Seul
became the best-selling French album of 2001 and remains one of the best-selling French albums of all time, achieving 2 million sales in Europe and going three times platinum in Canada. The title track remains his best-selling solo single, peaking at #1 for 11 weeks and selling nearly a million copies.He continued his string of hits with a live album
and his sophomore effort Reviens
in 2003. Sales for his third album Garou
remained strong and he released his English crossover Piece of My Soul
in 2008. The album debuted at #2 in Canada and #3 in France. Despite this, the album became his first album in France not to reach platinum status although it became his best-selling album in North America in seven years. His next album, Gentleman cambrioleur
features cover songs in French and English and became his first album to miss the top five in France, where it modestly peaked at #35, staying on the charts for 17 weeks. He released Version Intégrale
in 2010 which became another Top 40 hit in France and Canada.Garou performed the Jean-Pierre Ferland song "Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin" (A Little Higher, A Little Farther) at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia. He had previously performed the song with Celine Dion to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Quebec and received airplay on Quebec radio. He has also performed at the charity event Les Enfoirés for the past 13 years.His latest effort Rhythm and Blues
became his highest peaking album in four years. It is his second covers album and pays tribute to classic R&B music.
Garou has become well known for his collaborations. He has worked with Luc Plamondon in Notre-dame de Paris. The single "Belle" was lifted from the musical and stayed atop the French charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks. The single remained the most successful song in French history until 2009. In 2000, he had a successful duet with Celine Dion. "Sous le vent" became his third number one single in France. In 2004 he worked with the legendary Michel Sardou for his fourth and final number one single, "La Rivière de notre enfance". The following year he appeared with 15-year-old singer Marilou on "Tu es comme ça."He has also worked with several popular songwriters, including Jean-Jacques Goldman and Pascal Obispo. For his first album in English, Garou collaborated with some of the biggest names in music. The single "Stand Up" was written by Rob Thomas. He also sang the song "First Day of My Life", which was a big hit all over Europe in 2006 for former Spice Girl Melanie C, written by Guy Chambers and Enrique Iglesias.
Garou has a daughter named Emelie, with his ex-girlfriend, Ulrika, a former model. After they broke up he dated a former Iraqi singer and entertainer Arwa Jassem known as Lahlouba. From 2007 to June 2010 he dated French singer Lorie. Since 2010 he has been dating Stephanie Fournier, a Canadian model.